Lewis Hamilton is under no illusions that a record-breaking eighth world title is a forgone conclusion, with the Mercedes driver predicting the 2021 F1 season will be one of the toughest in quite some time.
Although the Brit currently leads the standings after a spectacular victory in the season-opener, Red Bull look to be a serious threat. Max Verstappen topped all of the time sheets before ultimately coming up just short in the race in Bahrain, but Hamilton expects the challenge to last all season.
"I've done this all my life, ever since I was a kid and drove karts," Hamilton told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about what keeps him motivated. "It still remains fantastic, it's great to drive a car built by geniuses and race against talents.
"It still remains a great battle to race on the track and try everything. It's always an uphill battle. Even though you win so many titles, it doesn't mean you have everything under control or that every year is the same, because you always have to keep improving and communicating well.
"At the beginning of a season you never know where it will end and I like that. The 2021 season will be the toughest in a long time, but that gives me and my team even more motivation."
Hamilton has also been a leading voice when it comes to making F1 a more inclusive sport, and he made it clear his efforts won't be slowing down anytime soon.
"I started to look inside myself and ask myself why this sport is facing this problem," Hamilton added. "I wasn't happy with the answer to that question, it seems no one knows the answer.
"You have to start with the statistics to discover this barrier because dark-skinned children, for example, don't choose certain studies in order to get into Formula 1. That's why I created a committee and with it, we have been working with several people for nine months to work out ideas. In July we should be ready to show some results and come up with concrete information. F1 is the tip of the iceberg, but it is the example for the series that fall under F1 up to karting.
"It is a long process that requires a lot of time, but people realise that change is needed. "